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Legal Research Checklist

This checklist is to help you consider all the different types of information that might be helpful for legal research. You won't necessarily need to use every type of information listed here, but the checklist helps you consider methodically if a particular type of information would be relevant to your research question.


  • What words or phrases are key to this area of law?
  • What other ways can the same concept be expressed (synonyms)?
  • As you work through this checklist, you will probably refine and add to this list.

Secondary Sources

Primary Sources - Legislation

  • Statutes

    • Check statutes from all relevant jurisdictions.  You can use our Canadian Legislation page to locate reliable open access sources.  You can also use WestlawNext Canada (and law students can use their individual Lexis Advance Quicklaw accounts). 
    • Do you need to look at historical statutes? Our Canadian Legislation page will show you what's available online, and we have full runs of historical statutes in print in the law library.
  • Regulations

  • Note up Statutes and Regulations

Primary Sources - Case Law

**Once you have written up your research, don't forget the citations. The standard legal citation style in Canada is the McGill Guide (the Canadian Guide to Uniform Legal Citation). It is available in print or in WestlawNext Canada.**